Trent is kind of like the car we had in high school, the best-friend’s brother’s car who bought it from his Dad that was the only thing we could afford. It looks like hell, it only works about four hours out of the day, and you never know when it will up and collapse on you – but somehow, it gets you to where you’re going.
There are many Trent stories out there. Most of them focus on his romance with Daria, which is of course pure conjecture. For a look at the true Trent, however, take a look at the winner of the Best “Trent” Story Award…
THE TRENT VIGNETTES:
“FROM THE TRENCHES”
“IN A NUTSHELL”
“THE VAN RIDE”
I’ll admit, I have a fondness for this particular type of story that may be coloring my perspective a bit – the type where a known episode is told from the viewpoint of one of the supporting characters. I think I can say without fear of being corrected, though, that Ms. Medea has a definite handle on Trent as a character. She is considered by most of the Daria fanfic community to be the essential expert on Trent.
“From the Trenches” is based on information from “The Daria Diaries”, a book I don’t have, so I can’t say how accurate it might be. It’s a short bit that serves as a good introduction to the next five installments.
Going in order of when the episodes were aired, we go to “Beyond Between” which shows us what Trent was doing during “The Invitation” besides dropping Daria and Jane off at Brittany’s party. Medea takes a few liberties with some of the supporting cast, but nothing that’s contradicted by the show. Trent wasn’t given much to do in this episode, but Medea makes the best of it and comes out with something interesting.
“In a Nutshell” follows the events of “It Happened One Nut” and is my personal favorite of the collection. Without giving away too much, it delves deeper into Trent’s Daria-inspired craving for peanuts in a very amusing way. I actually considered this one for the Daria/Trent shipper award, due to its creative method of attracting Trent to Daria.
“Trent Miserables” is, of course, Trent’s take on his family’s impromptu reunion at Casa Lane. It’s longer, since Trent had more going on in that episode. I’m hampered here by the fact that I’ve never seen “Lane Miserables” but outside the context of the episode, everything still hangs together and makes good sense. Monique is portrayed well, catty without being actually nasty. And even in the face of Daria’s obvious crush, Trent remains clueless. Is it denial, or simply his usual oblivion? Medea leaves that open.
“Trent’s Equation” is based on “Jane’s Addition” and is likewise a fuller story than the first two. As emotionally churning as the events of this episode were for Daria, one understands throught Medea that they were even more so for Trent. It’s probably the most believable look into Trent’s real feelings about Daria that’s ever been written.
“The Van Ride” is a short bit, almost serving as an epilogue to the collection. There’s not much to say, except that it follows the pattern of the stories before it – quintessential Trent, utterly plausible.
The beauty of Medea’s insights into Trent is that, from his perspective, everything he does makes complete sense and one finds it hard to imagine how he would act any other way. When writing stories such as these, the plot is already done, and all that remains is characterization. One must excel at it to pull it off. Medea did.
Read all about the Sleepy One at Outpost-Daria here